Blaine Cook - 2005

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Blaine Cook began his career as the lead yowler in Seattle hardcore punk band The Fartz, then moved onto Seattle thrashcore band The Accused, then reunited with The Fartz for two albums, and then again reunited with The Accused this year to release the new CD Oh Martha!. I figured I'd better catch him before he returns to The Fartz, and luckily he agreed to a telephone interview. Unfortunately he was speaking quietly and my phone is one of Edison's original models, so official markprindle.com interview transcriber Jim Laakso had a HELL of a time figuring out what the heck Mr. Cook was saying. He gave it 'that old college try' though, so I paid him his $15. Now he can go back to scrubbing underneath the sink until another interview rolls around. As it is, please do enjoy as much of the interview as Ol' Laaky was able to interpret. And have a good day! My questions are in bold print; Blaine's answers are nothing of the sort.

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Hello?

Blaine? Hey, Mark Prindle.

Mark, whatís going on?

Nothing.

Thatís right, itís Thursday! Aaaah jeez.

Are you available or no? We can reschedule if youíre busy.

No, itís cool. I wrote it on the calendar and everything.

What are you up to? Whatíre you doing?

Right now Iíve got my kid. My friend Steve just showed up, and Iíve got something crazy going on out here behind my house so I have to check it out and see if they need anything.

I hear noises.

I donít know...I thought I heard...Some people walked by and I thought I heard this lady saying ĎSomebody help me.í

Uh oh.

I saw a guy over there kind of hunched over for a couple of minutes shuffling around with some shit.

Ew. How old is your son?

Well, itís my daughter. Sheís nine.

Oh, wow. I didnít know youíd been a father for so long. What do you do for a living? Are you a teacher?

I work in a Head Start program. Itís a federally-funded child program for low-income families.

How long have you done that?

Iíve been at the place Iím working at now for six years, but Iíve been working with kids for like fifteen years.

What got you interested in that?

Itís kind of something I always wanted to do. A lot of people in my family are teachers. I was kind of an underachiever, so I wasnít really able to go through with the whole teaching certificate and everything, so the requirements are a little slimmer for working with these kids. The requirements are a little slimmer and the bureaucracy is a lot slimmer.

So what do you do? I mean, what do you every day, what do you do with the kids? What kind of stuff?

Itís kind of like kindergarten preparedness. The agency that I work for - we serve what they used to call the projects, but now in Seattle they call them the Garden Community. So we serve the Garden Community and we work very closely with immigrant refugee families from Southeast Asia and parts of Africa. So itís just kind of like - we work with the children and teach them what itís going to be like in kindergarten. And we meet with their families four times a year. Our program just started. We go into the homes and we try to get to know the parents and a little bit about the kids.

Do you ever have to deal with problem situations in families?

Oh yeah.

Oh no.

Oh yeah. Yeah. Problem situations, you know --different cultures, they raise children differently.

Do you ever hear from kids that you worked with years earlier? Or do they remember? I guess they were pretty young.

They were pretty young. When theyíre that age they donít remember.

Oh, okay.

Yeah, there was a program there for kids thatís actually really close to my house, so I walk up there and there are a lot of kids that are still here in the neighborhood, so I have seen some of the kids that I worked with years ago.

They let you get the job with your old long hair, or is this after you cut your hair?

No, I had long hair when I started. They knew I was in a band and everything.

Do you think youíre going to have any more kids yourself?

No, weíre only having one.

Oh. okay. Thatís enough?

Yeah.

Has she heard your music?

Oh yeah, yeah.

Is she old enough to appreciate that noisy stuff?

She doesnít like it. She was only two years old the first time that she saw us play.

Two years old!?

Yeah. And it was really cool because it was a sold out show and we were playing with Poison Idea. We played and then my wife showed up with my daughter and the crowd parted so they could come up and go backstage.

Does it freak your daughter out the way you sing?

Um, I think it scares her.

Oh.

Yeah, itís a little too loud for her.

What kind of music does she like?

I'm embarrassed to say this, but (sigh) somehow she's gotten really into modern country.

How did that happen?!

I donít know. Sheís always listening to the radio. I don't even know who these people are that she's into, but she always recognizes the songs that she hears on the radio.

Oh no!

Yeah. I'm trying to get her into the Clash and the Ramones but I'm not having much luck yet.

The Ramones - thatís a good entryway into what you do.

Yeah. Yeah.

Thatís how I got into it. It started with the Ramones. Iíve actually been a fan of yours since I got the Return of Martha Splatterhead cassette for Christmas, 1989.

Wow! So you've been a fan for a long time.

Yeah. I went out and got the rest of course, then I went back and got the Fartz stuff. I saw in an interview that I just read that one of your favorites is one that I didnít like as much as you I guess: Grinning Like an Undertaker.

Mm hmm.

Thatís just, I donít know. I really like all your other ones, and that oneís not BAD; itís just not exactly my taste. But I really like all your other stuff a lot, although I still have not gotten "Hymns For the Deranged." (note: I have now - see my review!)

Yeah, thatís a tough one to get.

Are those songs that are from Grinning Like an Undertaker?

Those were four songs that we kind of recorded as a demo. We did that EP right after we got dropped from Combat.

Why did you get dropped?

Combat was a weird company. I'm not sure how much they were actually into the bands they signed. Like, theyíd sign bands, and with each record your advance would get a little bit smaller. I donít remember what the problem was, but Combat Records just didn't want to put out our stuff anymore. They didnít have the money, I guess.

And do you think that stuff is ever going to be back in print? People have e-mailed me saying, ďWhere did you buy these records?! I canít find them anywhere!Ē

Yeah, well, you know, itís a complicated thing in that all the Combat/Relativity stuff was taken over by Sony, so you knowÖ

Oof.

If we knew somebody that knew somebody there, it wouldnít be that difficult. But otherwise, youíre talking about having to hire an attorney and put thousands of dollars into it. Itís really one of those things where you have to know somebody who knows somebody, and I have tried contacting Sony, but to no avail. We've actually been corresponding with people who are interested re-releasing the old stuff. Like Relapse has expressed interest in re-releasing that stuff, so we had them get in touch with Sony. And apparently Sony told them that they would sell them the catalog, but it would be $5,000 per song.

Per song?! Ow! Thatís terrible!

Yeah.

So theyíre just not going to do anything with it?

Man, thatís how it works, you know? You just donít know these things when you sign these contracts when youíre young. You donít understand. Kids donít really understand how things work.

Yeah. So which ones do you own the rights to?

None of them. None.

Not even the new one?

Oh, the new one we do, yeah.

The new one, but not the Nastymix one?

Yeah.

Wow.

Itís a crazy thing.

So could anything happen if Sony finds out that you included some re-recorded Return Of Martha Splatterhead songs as bonus tracks on this new one? Or no?

That would kind of be a sticky thing, because theyíre re-recorded and... I don't know.

Yeah, I think thatís what Suicidal Tendencies did to get back their songs. I donít know. And the Dwarves, too. They said they wanted to get their rights back for their songs so they re-recorded them or something.

Yeah, you can do that. But I think a lot of times if youíre re-recording youíre changing the vibe.

Yeah.

You can't really recapture what you sounded like when you were young and mad.

Well yeah, I can see it with the new record. You can tell that you guys arenít as insanely young and crazy as The Return of Martha Splatterhead. But itís still nice to hear the songs again.

Yeah. Well, you know, the recording techniques have changed. Back then you try to go to the studio and play things like that, theyíre freaking out and going, ďWhat is this shit?Ē Now itís kind of the norm to be able to record something like that. Back then it was real difficult to find someone to work with who had any clue how to record aggressive music.

Were there other bands doing that sort of mixture of gore and humor, yet also catchy thrash all in the same place when you started - when you joined the Accused? Because I know that later there was Cannibal Corpse and things like that, but thatís not the same.

No, I donít think so either. Iím sure there were other bands doing that though, definitely.

But no one that got records out or anything?

Iím sure they did, but maybe they just didnít get the little recognition we got.

What was your best selling one? Do you know?

Probably Martha Splatterhead's Maddest Stories Ever Told.

My wife grew up listening to the same sort of music I did, more on the punk and goth side though, but when I told her I was interviewing you she sang, ďThe worms crawl in, the worms crawl out.Ē She knows that one.

Heh. That's a classic!

Do you still watch a lot of the old grindhouse horror movies and stuff?

Not as much as I used to.

Because you have a daughter? Or just because youíre busy?

Just because Iím busy. And my wife is home a lot, and she's not into that stuff at all.

Oh.

Actually, my kid and I are starting to watch some of the horror stuff, and sheís into that.

What are some of your favorites of those?

Oh, all the standards. The first couple of Zombie movies. The third one is all right, not my favorite. There are just so many. I could say a few more that stand out. The Undertaker And His Friends is always a favorite.

Do you like a lot of that crazy Italian stuff?

Yeah. I like a lot of that.

I just recently, maybe about two years ago, got into that stuff and started reading all those books, Mondo Macabre and all thoseÖ Itís fun. Lots of fun. Have you seen I Eat Your Skin, where the kid doses the Satanic group with rabies?

I donít believe that I saw I Eat Your Skin.

Oh, that reminds me. I got into that stuff at the same time I got into Something Weird stuff. Now, how did you end up getting an Accused DVD released through Something Weird?

We've known the guy that runs Something Weird for a long time. He's one of those huge collectors that you always run into when you go to toy shows and stuff.

Thatís really cool. Thatís really not normally the kind of thing they do.

Well, actually we put it together. That took us, I donít know, we probably had 50 or 60 hours of footage to dig through. We had to go through all the tapes and then put it all together. So yeah, he put it out. I donít know if it was necessarily the best thing we could have done, because they basically operate like the old-time tape traders. You put in an order for one of these tapes, and then they make it for you right then. It's not like they make 1,000 copies or something.

Oh, OK.

So we did it with him, and I just think that we probably couldíve gotten a lot more exposure if we had gone through a different company.

Who do you think you would have gone to? Like MVD or something?

I donít know. The key thing is that the way that they operate, theyíre not really able to get the DVD out there in front of people. If thereís a record store or distributor that wants to buy a hundred copies, Something Weird isn't really set up to do that.

Yeah, I guess they have some deal with another company for those two-fer DVDs that they put out.

Right.

Yeah, those are the only ones that I ever see.

Right.

So you had the Fartz, the Accused, and then the Fartz again, and now the Accused again. Whatís goiní on?

Well, the Fartz were going strong and then we did a show and a couple of weeks later our bass player called up - it was actually the bass player Steve and myself, weíre the original members - and we had Alex, the bass player from The Accused playing guitar parts. And then Steve called us up and said that he had cut his thumb, and from the way that he was talking it sounded like it was a real serious injury. So a couple months passed and we had passed up a lot of different opportunities, and when he finally came back to practice, the injury wasnít really all that great. And, I donít know, he just started blowing off practice and not showing up, and he just called me up one day and said, ďYou know, Iím done.Ē And that was pretty much it. It really threw me for a loop.

Thatís weird.

Yeah.

Was that the band that that Guns 'N Roses guy was in for a while?

Yeah, Duff. Near the tail-end of the band, he was our drummer for a while. Not too long, maybe six months. We played live with him once as the Fartz, then we changed our name to Ten Minute Warning and he switched over to second guitar.

Ten Minute Warning? Do you remember putting anything out under that name?

Not with me in the band. Yeah, they kicked me out shortly thereafter.

They kicked you out?

Yep.

Why? They wanted a different voice, or was it a personality thing?

Yeah, they wanted a different voice. So they played around, they were kind of a party kind of a deal. Yeah, they played around for quite a while with a number of lineup changes. And actually Duff wasnít in the band after just a little while. He moved down to LA. Then they broke up, and they actually got back together again seven or eight years ago and they put out another record.

Did they change their sound when you left?

I guess they did.

Now, Iíve got to admit, until I really started looking through your website last night I had no idea that the Accused put out a record before you were in the band. I knew they had another singer, but I didnít know anything came out.

Yeah, actually one of the first shows they ever did was with the Fartz.

Oh! On that first record were they just like a normal hardcore band, or what?

God, they were kind of likeÖyeah, kind of that generic brand of hardcore that was around at that point in time. Yeah, nothing that was really stand-out-ish.

And then when you joined, what prompted such a change? Was it you bringing in the new ideas, or just what the Fartz were doing really?

Actually, even The Fartz were starting to take on that kind of metal edge, because with Iron Maiden and Motorhead kind of being introduced in that 1982, 1983 period, we were really digging those sounds. And then I think that by the time I joined the Accused, that was about the time that Metallica and Anthrax and Exodus and that kind of stuff was coming out. And that was the time Tom was really getting into the metal, and taking on that metal edge.

As you went from record to record, on each record were you purposely trying different things? Because they do all sound kind of different. I mean, you can always tell itís the Accused, but none of them sound like each other to me. More Fun Than an Open Casket Funeral seems tighter, like tighter, more rigid Metallica-type metal -- though not mixed like Metallica-type metal. And The Maddest Stories Ever Told, there are a lot of these sudden, jarring drum-stops all the time. And then the Splatter Rock album almost seems like, kind of, not progressive metal, but itís definitelyÖ Thatís the one, as much as I like it, it took me like maybe eight listens before I could remember how any of the songs went. Because they werenít just straightforward like your ones before, they kind ofÖ I donít know. Were you purposely trying different things on each one?

I donít know if we were doing it purposefully or not. I think that we were justÖ We never felt that we were trapped by a certain sound, so if somebody had an idea, we would do it no matter what it was. We were a band that pretty much everything thatís recorded, thatís all we had. We werenít a band that would get ready to do a record and we had 30 songs from which weíd pick out the best 10. When we did a record, everything that we did that was it. Any idea was a good idea.

Are you happy with all of them?

Yes, I am.

Very good.

In retrospective, youíd like to change one thing or another, but I still listen to them now and thereís something cool about all of them. Like the Splatter Rock record. I can listen to that now and I can appreciate it. Thereís really not a whole lot of bad songs on that record.

Did you not like it at the time?

Oh, there was so much bad stuff going on with the band. We brought up our buddy who played drums for Poison Idea to produce it, but unfortunately he had a bad drug and alcohol problem at the time. He didnít take the job as seriously as he probably should have, and the mix suffers.

Oh, like how? That's not something that Iíve noted.

Like the drums. Thereís stuff with the drums where at times it almost sounds like the snare is missing a beat. Like thereís a weird gate on it or something.

Oh! Iíll have to listen to it again. I didnít catch any of that. Who is your favorite producer you worked with?

Well of course the most famous one we worked with was Jack Endino and that was a lot of fun.

I didnít even check this area code that I dialed. Are you still in the Seattle area?

Iím still in Seattle.

Did you follow the whole grunge thing? Were you into any of that?

No, I didnít follow it. The whole grunge thing, in my opinion -- at that point in time, 'all ages' shows were pretty much banned in Seattle. So the grunge thing, I feel, kind of came from a bar thing, over-21. Thatís how a lot of those bands got started. When the Accused were playing, right before that time, we couldnít play any all-ages shows in Seattle. They had banned them.

Why did they do that? Because they wanted to serve alcohol and you couldnít with kids there, or what?

There was some crazy teen dance ordinance that stemmed from some shootings at a couple of these dance clubs that were around back then. There was really a thriving all-ages scene in Seattle up until probably 1985 or the very beginning of 1986. Then they banned them.

Who were the other good bands in that period that you liked?

Gosh, let's see -- The Melvins of course were a good band.

Is it true that Metal Church was originally good?

Ha!

I read that somewhere, and I was like, ďSeriously? They were?Ē

You know what, I never liked Metal Church myself. The only good thing about Metal Church was that Kurdt Vanderhoof, the guitar player, used to go by the name ďBlobboĒ when he was the bass player for an early Seattle punk band called The Lewd.

Oh, The Lewd?!? I have theirÖwhat is it? ďKillÖĒ

Kill Yourself, yeah.

Yeah, Iíve got that Kill Yourself Again or something, that double album. Thatís good stuff!

Yeah. He was one of the original members of The Lewd.

Blobbo? Ha!

He went by ďBlobboĒ at that point in time.

Thatís nice. Hey, I didnít compare these two documents. I was reading one of Tommyís old notes on your site last night and he mentioned the Archive Tapes. Is that the DVD, or something different?

That was something different. We had a couple other projects going on that just never came to fruition.

Oh, was that going to be a CD or something?

Yeah. It was. Back when we were touring, we had something called the Archive CD. Thirty-eight songs. It was early Accused, heavy metal stuff from that time, we had gone and had that put back together and were going to put it out on CD.

Is it live stuff, or stuff from the first records, or -

Itís live, studio, rehearsals, basement tapes.

Oh wow. I also got that Accused 7Ē tribute, that thing. Thatís cool.

Yeah, I thought that was really great.

Were you honored when they asked you if they could do that?

Yeah, actually Paul that did that - Paul at that label - before he did the tribute thing, he actually did an Accused single.

Which one?

"Paint it Red" is what it was called. It was a live track and then a studio version of that song "Paint it Black" by the Rolling Stones.

Oh, OK. So, is this Accused reunion going to continue? Do you think there might be another album in a few years?

Well, right now things really arenít too good in the Accused camp, unfortunately.

How come?

Well, Iím really going to be diplomatic. Itíd be best for me not to really say anything about it.

Oh, I see.

I can say things off the record if youíre not going to print it.

Okay, I wonít. Whatever you say here I wonít put in. In fact, Iíll turn the tape off.

(*FIFTEEN MINUTES LATER*)

(chuckling nervously) So!

Yeah.

Uhhhhh. Hmm. If anything should ever happen to the Accused, do you think you would maybe form a new band?

Well, for sure.

Are there people youíre playing with now that you could maybe play in a new band with if you guys ever broke up?

Yeah, Alex and I have been talking. Because Alex is actually a really, really kickass guitar player.

Oh!

Yeah. Heís a really great guitar player. He actually went on and did a band with Josh, the guy that did the drumming on Grinning Like an Undertaker. They had a band for a few years called the Hot Rod Lunatics that Alex played guitar on and Josh was actually singing on. Yeah, heís a really great guitar player. Weíre hoping to do something with him playing guitar.

Oh, that would be cool.

Yeah.

It surely canít be good for your throat to sing like that, can it? Does it hurt?

It hurts if I donít practice. If I practice, and Iím really conscious about my breathing and everything, then Iím OK. But if Iím not practicing and then I play live and Iím getting all excited and Iím unfocused and Iím not paying attention to what Iím doing, then yeah, it hurts.

How did you choose that particular style of vocalizing? Because you donít sound like that in real life.

I think that just seemed like the right thing to do at the time.

Ha!

I donít know. I started doing hardcore punk, and I knew nothing could be melodic about it. Screaming was just what I thought you were supposed to do. Because at that point in time, the whole rock/hardcore thing was so anti-rock that it would be really frowned upon to have melodic vocals in there.

To me, youíve always sounded like a hysterical victim, like someone whoís about to be killed.

Ha!

Thatís what it sounds like! You donít sound like an aggressor, like Slayer or something; you just sound like youíre terrified. Especially when you sing things like, 'Theyíre cutting me open -- BUT I'M NOT DEAD!!!'Ē

Yeah. Thatís good! Iíve never heard anyone say that before. I kind of like that.

Thatís what it sounds like to me. It always has. So on this new record, letís seeÖ We have "Fast Zombies Rule"Ö

Mmm hmm.

Hey, there have been a bunch of those movies lately, havenít there?

Yeah. Actually we took that - "Fast Zombies Rule" - because onÖI canít remember which one of our old LPs, I think itís More Fun, but you know how people could just scratch stuff in the matrix of an LP?

Yeah.

Well we had that scratched on one of the matrices of one of our records, ďFast Zombies Rule.Ē So thatís where weÖ we just kind of brought that back. Now fast zombies seem to be the cool thing.

So timely. What old movies are they fast in? I guess theyíre fast in several.

There are fast zombies in - oh, what's the name of it. Hang on, I have it right here. It's.... City Of The Walking Dead.

I've seen that one!

Those are some fast zombies.

Thatís the one where at the ending it says ďThe Nightmare Becomes Reality!"

It might; I donít know. I know theyíve got knives and the airplane lands and everyone jumps out of the airplane.

Yeah, thatís it. They were fast in that one.

Yes, they were.

I liked that one. I remember actually when I was watching that, I was thinking, ďOh, I thought these fast zombies were a new development.Ē

And then even like Zombie 3 or Zombie 4 they start to get pretty fast also.

Thatís pretty scary. Did you see the remake of Dawn of the Dead?

Yeah.

I liked it!

Yeah, so did I.

Especially the first 15 minutes, they were insane.

Yeah.

So which of these new songsÖ Is "Crapassreality" about an actual person?

Yes, it is.

What was the person doing? Putting you down on the Internet?

There was somebody that got on our website, got on our chat board, and started talking all this shit about us. The people that are on our chat boards -- I donít see chat boards; I donít know what theyíre like -- but ours is a small board. People are just talking and carrying on and thereís nothing like Internet trolls getting on there and saying stupid stuff. This person just got on there and started talking all this shit, and whoever they were, they felt bad about it and they ended up writing to us wanting us to remove that thread and they even offered us money to take that off, even though they never actually confessed who they were.

They felt bad about it? Or -

Yeah, they felt bad about it, whoever it was. Somebody that was going to NA or AA that wasnít supposed to be doing any drinking or any drugs and they relapsed or whatever and got all crazy and then realized what they had done.

Ha! And then "13 Letters" about child molesters -- have you had to deal with any of that at your job?

No, I have not.

Oh, thank goodness.

Yeah, that's something that I haven't run across, I'm happy to say.

Thatís good. Now, why on earth did you do "Have You Never Been Mellow?"

I donít know. I think Tom suggested it and I was like, ďOK, whatever, weíll do it.Ē

Do you have any major favorites on here, or is it just the whole thing?

I like the whole thing. I like "Fueled By Hate," thatís one of my favorite ones. "Martha Will," that I like. "Hooker Fortified Pork Products" I think is pretty funny. "Stay Dead" I really like.

Itís a good record.

Yeah, yeah it is. Itís a lot of fun.

I wasnít sure what it was going to be like, since itíd been, what, ten years since the last one?

Way more than that. Whenever Splatter Rock came out. I think that was í91.

Oh! I didnít realize it was that early in the í90s.

Yeah.

Wow, 14 years. Yeah, on first listen it sounded more punky to me, but thatís just because itís fast. Because I listened to it a second time and I was like, ďNo, thatís the way that Tom plays the guitar. Thatís thrash.Ē So what else do you like to do? What else do you have time to do when youíre not doing the band or hanging out with your daughter or working? Does your wife work? Is she a teacher?

No, actually sheís involved in this big roller derby resurgence.

Really?!

Yeah. It's getting really big all throughout the U.S. There are all these female roller derby leagues that are springing up all over.

Thereís actually an article about that in the new Hustler!

Is there?

Yeah!

Yeah, thereís a couple of them in Texas, and, yeah, all over.

Yeah, thatís what it was - it was the Texas ones. Wow, she does that? Does she do the roller derby itself?

Yeah. A couple years ago we were having dinner with a friend and the topic came up, and next thing they knew, they got their little group going, this group of girls, and they started -

Whatís the nickname of the team?

Actually their league here in Seattle is called the Rat City Roller Girls. They have four teams in the league. Sheís on the Socket Wenches. Thereís one team thatís called the DLF - the Derby Liberation Front - and thereís Grave Danger, and the Throttle Rockets is the other one. Yeah, this is their first season, so they do about every month. Itís kind of kitschy, kind of campy, and they have bands and a DJ.

What are the rules? Do you just try to knock people over?

Man, I donít know. Iíve had the rules explained to me a bunch of times. Thereís jammers and pivots and somebodyís trying to get around somebody else. You get points for whatever person it is thatís supposed to go around it. The people that get knocked down are the blockers or whatever. I donít pay that much attention to the rules. But there are rules, and people do get hurt.

Thatís pretty action-packed.

Yeah, it is. Once they started, it was really crazy. Just the amount of press. Everything that theyíve done, all the bouts are sold out. Actually, the first two or three that they did, they were selling out in an hour or two hours.

Wow. Did youÖ I guess I should let you get off the phone in a minute. Did you ever have any problems with violent crowds at your shows back in the day?

Really we never did. Except for during that period of time when the skinhead thing was really big. It was a problem with the skinheads. We did a show in Portland one time where, at that point in time, the skinhead problem was really bad in Portland, Oregon, and they even had a task force down there. Somebody had threatened to kill one of the members of the band, so the skinhead task force was down there, they were stopping all the skinheads on the street before they got into the show and they were being photographed.

Did one of the members of the band say something about the skinheads?

I donít know. Back then, if you were anti-racist or anything you would just rub these guys the wrong way. We had a problem like that. We had another problem in Atlanta with some skinheads.

Wait, didnít you have a black guy in your band for a while?

He was just a friend of mine who was on the back cover of that album.

Oh he wasnít in the band?

No, he was just kind of there, like ďHereís our security guy."

Oh, all right.

Yeah. So then we had a skinhead thing in Atlanta. We had another problem -

Atlanta, thatís where I grew up. I remember the skinheads in Atlanta. I remember them being at the big DRI show I was at. And the singer said, ďWhere were you guys last year when we toured with Body Count?Ē

Ha! But yeah, other than that, no problems at all.

What is the difference between your old crowd and your new crowd? Is it the same people but older? Or is it the same age kids but new?

Really itís the same people but older. Itís a lot more difficult to attract the younger crowd. We never really reached that iconic status like a Suicidal Tendencies or a COC or a DRI where our name is engraved in the hardcore mythology. So we did some all-ages shows here in Seattle where there was nobody there this time around. I donít know. The kids, theyíre not the same. I donít know if theyíre spoiled or apathetic or what.

Well, it might just be because itís been so long since youíve put out a record. I donít know.

Well, thereís that. I think some of the kids back in the day would get excited about going to see live music. I think the new generation - theyíve missed out on that period of time. There was no live music for them to see, and now thereís so much that theyíre not willing to try out something new.

Or maybe theyíre just all busy on the Internet.

Yep. Theyíre all busy downloading off the internet, watching their MTV and playing their GameCubes and Playstation IIs.

Such a drag. I never got to see the Accused live. I donít remember you coming to Atlanta. Maybe it was before í89 or after I went to college. I donít know.

Yeah, we did a couple of them. I canít remember what the name of the big place at that point in time was.

The Masquerade? That was a pretty popular place. Or was it the Wreck Room? That was a big place. Well, it was a long time ago.

Yeah, definitely. I think one of the first times we played there, we played with the Rollins Band.

Ooh!

It might have even been when he first started doing the Rollins Band. That was kind of more in the downtown area. And then the time we played there when we had the skinhead problem, that was kind of out from the city, in this big warehouse-type place.

That sounds like the place where I saw DRI. It was a place right off the highway.

Yeah. I think so.

Yeah, that place was a huge skinhead hangout for some reason. I was actually scared driving home from that place, because they were all over the place.

Yeah, it was a scary place.

I wonder where they all came from. At any rate, itís been an hour. Thank you very much.

Okay, thank you.

POST-SCRIPT

Hi! Mark Prindle here. In May 2006, I received the following email from Blaine. Although he's still reticent to say the actual name of 'the one,' let's assume it's a guitar player of some sort:

well what i can say is that in the end there where three that couldn't play with one. there was one that wasn't going to be man enough, sincere enough, adult enough to take ownership of his behavior. one that had a hard time making it to gigs on time, hard time making it to practice one day a week, that nothing could be planned months in advance as the one would change his mind. one whose paranoid mind created some plot against him. feeling that he was ripped off. he in fact went behind our backs and copyrighted the name of the band and only put his name on the paperwork. for the one to think that he was the sole motivating force, the creativity behind the imagery of the accused, the gel that held things together. that is false. if the one wants to cash in on his accused legacy then he should be playing the original songs before i joined the band before things really took off.

alex and i had seen this ugly angry side before. alex more so than myself. as alex was also doing gruntruck after the accused.

the one has taken it upon himself to run with the ball and do projects with our collective material solely to line his own pockets. even going as far as to put it lightly hijack monies do to all of us for projects that were initiated while we were all still together.

one who never and i do mean never called the members of the band together to practice. last summer before we went to do those few bay area shows we only practiced twice. that was twice for the whole summer.

the atomosphere and culture of the band lacked solidarity and a sense of cohesiveness. that was not what we were going for this go around. it was a one for all all for one mentality.

the one. his job is that of a video tape duplicator. though his scheduling and time was held at a higher premium than the rest of us. myself i was going to school, coaching my daughter daily with her homework, karate practice and all that goes along with having a child.

it's not necesary to say who did what for the band or who didn't. all conversations were about fairness.

in the end you can plainly see who isn't being fair, honest and trustworthy. the one never came to us with a tone of reconciliation and wonderment. he came to us with anger and hatered. spewing venom and profanity.

in the end when the one told me that i never gave a shit about him, i then knew how he in his heart felt about me. i never ever did him any wrong ever. he was the one that bailed on the accused after our last record with nastymix. reaching for that brass ring.

i'm truely saddened by the fact that he is going to try to make a new accused.

the accused can never be duplicated. the members of the band shared a common bond and shared set of experiences. we came from the same 'old school' of hardcore and punk rock. the music played with a passion that came from the soul. not one motivated money.

i can continue to be bashed on splatterrock site. alex steve and myself have had nothing what so ever to do with the comments or questions that other fans have posted on that chatboard. i don't go to that site. i won't go where i'm not welcome. i'm occasionally filled in about some of the stuff that goes on on that site.

i think about this everyday. it fills my dreams and nightmares.

i had always said to the one that i didn't want to embark on something that in the end was going to leave the taste of shit in my mouth. i wish we would've done the few shows and called it quits.

Reader Comments

javier.blanco@asemas.es
Nice interview;

Blaine seems to be a really nice guy, very down to earth. You mention in the interview the band The Lewd. Man, that's really good stuff! Songs like "Pay or Die", "Climate of Fear" or "beyond moderation" are among the best 77 style punk i've ever heard! In the Battalion of Saints review you say that, since you have heard lots of Punk bands before, groups like B of Saints or Saccharine Trust don't impress you that much, but i think The Lewd were really interesting and deserved much more than they got (at least in the underground scene).

seattledann@hotmail.com
Hey,

Just like to say that Blaine is a nice guy. The first time he ever sang in front of anybody I was there at the ďGas ChamberĒ, this was a house about ten of us rented in West Seattle (it was called so because of the leaky furnace). Blaine (ZIPPY as my friend and originator of the Fartz Ö..Steve Fart coined him) began his trademark singing (?) method that night with about thirty of us in the living room.

I would also like to say that Blaine is very talented, he comes from good stock both his parents are professionals (Law, and Education). I personally have not seen Blaine in ten years and for that matter I have not seen Steve for about that long as well.

Your article brought back some fond memories, I might just have to give Zippy a call.

recondite_gemini@yahoo.com (Pleth)
The Accused! Are you frigging sh**ing me? I saw these guys out at "Natasha's" in Bremeton, WA at 14 years old! High as sin on Acid and almost got arrested on the ferry ride over! What a show! Blaine's lil frame jumping about 8 feet into the air every 5 seconds...and the Pit! I still have a bad knee from that show (Mohawk dude your time will come!)

If anyone can tell me where I can obtain MarthaSplatter...whether it be album,CD, tape, whatever, please email me!

P.S. What happened to Coven? "Iron Dick" was like Brain Pain's (Seattle's KCMU Sunday Night Metal Show) top song! It beat Slayer's "Angel of Death" Anyone???

goatpenis2004@yahoo.com (Steve - Dallas)
I seen The Accused in the summer of '90 at a toilet called SlipDisc Studios in Dallas,Texas. The opening band was ..Scum of the Earth, who sold shirts with a peace sign, that had jesus hanging upside by his feet, making up the fork symbol in the peace sign and the actual ring of the peace sign, looked like a globules of vomit with skulls and bones poking out of them. The vomit was printed in flourescent green. I also bought the white Martha Splatterhead Shirt, with Martha Sucks Brains, on the back. Good Times, Good Times. Me and a couple of my buddies hung out with Blaine and the boys outside their van drinking Miller High Life and Milwaukees Best. Though it has been many years, and since we now have the internet I would like to officially go on the record and apologize for puking on the Josh's feet.

Blaine thanks for doing it again with Oh Martha, even if it has been 10 years.

kruptedpeasantfarmer@hotmail.com
I don't know if he'd ever admit to this but... I had just seen a fartz reunion in Eugene Oregon a month or 2 before I went to Seattle bumbershoot festival- anyways I some how ended up in a press area or private back stage - side stage area connected to the "David lee Roth" concert at bumbershoot - free wine, beer, sandwiches and hordivores - it was awesome - David lee Roth - tried to "jump" it was funny - but it'd be no big deal - but I swear Blaine was back there hangin out too - I went up too him - asked if he was Blaine from the accused, the person said "no, but ive heard of those guys!" it seemed like a joke he was playing - like I said its really not a big deal - ive seen him at fartz shows and accused shows and he really is down to earth - I just can't help but wonder if that was Blaine "undercover" or just some serious look alike - he was short and it was Seattle and I just saw him a few weeks before that - needless to say the more drunk I got - the more iwas convinced "I know your Blaine from the fartz man!" I wish I knew...great bands, good times!!!

scottistoxic@yahoo.com (Scott)
Hey--just stumbled across your interview w/ Blaine Cook. Loved it. I got to see the Accused in like 1985 in Raleigh NC with Impulse Manslaughter and a couple other bands, and even though it was a small, weeknight show, they fucking went ALL OUT. Really made an impression on me, and their sound really ended up being a major influence on how I play guitar. Tommy's guitar sound on "Maddest Stories..." is THE punkrock/HC sound to me. Superfast chugga-chugga that teeters on the brink of being completely out of control.

I also used to play them all the time on my radio show at Guilford College...we had a weekly show and we played the song "Splatter Rock"--the version from the Thrasher Magazine comp--every week (plus lots of their other stuff too). So it kind of makes me a little sad when Blaine says that he thinks the Accused never reached an iconic status...I know a lot of people around here who would disagree, and I don't even know if they played in NC more than that one time.

Also, you should check out some pictures of the band Municipal Waste...Ryan, the guitarist has an Accused sticker on his strat and you can TOTALLY hear the influence in his playing. Matter of fact, first time I saw them, they were on stage tuning up, plugging in, and whatever, and when I saw that sticker, I said, "Holy shit! You like the Accused?" and he replied by playing the opening riff from the song "Martha Splatterhead".

My band, Crimson Spectre, has been fucking around with "Slow Death" for a while, and may put it in the set soon...and our shit is anti-capitalist zombie thrash, so the influence of the Accused goes beyond just the sound...

Anyway, thanks for the interview. I loved reading it.

blood4daath@msn.com
The Accused with out Blaine is complete bullshit. What a fucking joke.

vaccastracca@tin.it (Erik Ursich)
I've just finished reading your interview to Blaine Cook!
It really was fun to read!!!
I enjoyed it very much!
The point that really left me speechless is when Blaine says that the Accused never reached iconic status.....that sounded unbelievable to my years...I follow the Accused since the 80s...I bought Martha Splatterhead's Maddest Stories Ever Told a few months after it came out, and it totally blew me away!!!! That sound is THE sound of thrash/punk/metal/core (or how you want to call it)...it really chanced my life and my approach to electric guitar...no other records from no other bands ever gave me the feelings I get EVERY time I listen to that LP!!!! ...of course I have also all the other ones and love them all, but that one, that is an authentic milestone!
And I'm sure I'm not the only one who thinks this!
My only regret is that, living in Italy, I've never had the chance to see them live...
Oh, by the way!!!! ...that's the reason I'm writing to you!!!
In the article you mention a dvd put out (well, kind of!) by Something Weird (I know them very well...I bought dozens of b-movies from them back in the 90s)...but in their website there's no trace of it...
How can I do to get one copy???
As you may sense, now that I know such dvd exists, I will not be able to sleep until I get it!!!!!!!!!!

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